Top 5 Begging Scams about which every Saudi Resident should be aware of

Begging to exploit emotions of people and to gain sympathy during religious events like Eid or Ramadan is very common. It should be considered as a criminal offense. The beggar takes advantage of the Muslim’s belief that whatever noble deed you do, Allah is aware of it and it comes back to you.

But nowadays begging is just a scam and not a lifeline for the one in need. Annual anti-begging campaigns are already cracking down the beggars. Many social media campaigns are also motivating people to report about these begging scams that will continue throughout the year, especially in Ramadan and after Eid Al Fitr.[irp]

Many cases are reported that many beggars come from other countries to beg for alms and use it as a business. These are some of the top scams that have been encountered over the years.

1-Woman and her Sick Child: Most probably, and the common one scam is that a woman reached to the people with a small baby in her hands. She showed that the child is severely ill and she needs money for the treatment of a sick child.

You can see such women in parking areas of residential communities. They mostly approached the middle-aged women to gain their sympathy. A woman said that this happened to her last year twice. She told that a woman in an Abaya came to her with her child and asked the donation for her child treatment.

She further said that when she offered her to treat her child free of cost as her husband was a doctor, the woman just got angry screamed at me and left. Even to keep these children quiet these women even medicate them so they can look sick. Everyone should report such cases to the concerned authorities.

2-Petrol money: One of the oldest begging scams is begging for petrol money or I would say begging in luxury cars. It has been witnessed by many people. While traveling, you have been approached by such families or drivers with same stories.

They pretend that they are traveling with family from a neighboring GCC nation, the petrol has been finished and they need money to go back to home and to buy some food also. Most probably, they always approach you when you are traveling with your wife and kids because a woman will be more kind and soft-hearted to their cause.

3-Money for Hajj: Similar to the petrol money scam, another begging scam which has been reported is money for Hajj. These scammers reach to you in cars even with families, requesting that they are unable to perform Hajj due to lack of funds so do charity and give them money so they can perform Hajj.

A resident, Nadira Akhtar said that she usually giving 15-20 SR to these people, hoping that maybe someone is honest in his appeal and these few Riyals would help someone to perform his holy task.

4-Man with health problems: A begging scam which is common in the society for years is that you see an injured man with physical or internal health issues. He would always be complaining and blaming his health to force him for begging.

Some of them are so much creative that you can see them with official paper from some hospitals that they have such and such disease. Sometimes they have bandages with orange color fluid prominent on it. The only way to stop these troublemakers or would be called criminals is, to report to the police.

5-House calls: Many residents have complained that some unwelcomed visitors, especially in the holy month, begging for money with “a heart touching sad story and also holding a medical letter. One should always report such incidences, either to the watchman of building or to call the police.

No one ever wants someone hanging around in the residential buildings and begging. We have already written a detailed article on Online Begging Fraud which is worth reading.

Actually, local authorities and police forces, as well as a majority of charities and organizations, actively campaign against giving money to these beggars. If you want to help someone, it’s better to do it through proper channel, the charities who are working for them directly. This is the right way to do charity and you also know you are not just feeding someone’s addiction.

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.